MORE PROGRAMMES COMING FOR MEN

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Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, addressing a group of secondary school boys at a workshop on Gender and HIV/AIDS. Pictured at left is Programme Officer of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Nalita Gajadhar.

There is a need for objective analysis of issues affecting men and boys so that targeted programmes can be developed to address them.

This is the view of Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who promised that issues which affected men would be integrated into more holistic gender programmes. “Existing programmes will be modified to reduce negative and amplify positive effects for men,” she said.

Dr. Byer Suckoo made the comments today, while addressing a one-day workshop on Gender and HIV/AIDS for 25 secondary school boys at the Bagnall’s Point Gallery, Pelican Craft Village. Its theme was “Our Boys…Our Men: Securing the future”.

She told the gathering that HIV/AIDS had the capacity to destroy the lives of one of the most productive sectors of the population and promised that her Ministry would undertake more initiatives to target the youth. Therefore, she explained that the workshop was not only to share knowledge about HIV, but to arm the teenagers with the skills to practise behaviours that would shape a positive approach to relationships and maintain healthy lifestyles.

She disclosed that the Ministry of Youth, Family and Sports would be placing greater emphasis on preventative strategies in an attempt to tackle social issues. “There will be a significant addition to how we disseminate information that can encourage the behavioural change desired if we are to reverse the destructive path that significant numbers of our young men seem to be attracted to.

“Apart from direct targeted interventions like this, we will be embarking on greater public education exercises through a variety of media that are appealing to the target audiences and would ensure greater contact… We will also help parents to talk to their children about sex and sexuality when we shortly launch our pilot projects in parent education,” she stated.

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